The 120 California Legislators reconvened to begin the second half of the 2017-2018 session, Jan. 3. Over 2,000 bills are likely to be introduced in the next few weeks. Some bills will be controversial, though many will pass with wide bipartisan support.
Bills that didn’t pass their house of origin, either Assembly or Senate, before adjournment in September must pass by Jan. 31 in order to move forward. With some exceptions, all new legislation must be submitted to the Office of Legislative Counsel by Jan. 19 with the final submission date, Feb. 16, for the completed bill. Generally, these bills will go through numerous amendments as they move through the committee process. There are legislative and committee deadlines throughout the spring and into the summer. Legislation with a fiscal impact greater than $50,000 for Senate bills or $150,000 for Assembly bills will be referred to their respective Appropriations Committee’s “Suspense Files.” That title simply means these bills require more detailed scrutiny before they go to the floor for a final vote.
All bills must pass through their committees and house of origin by June 1; final passage by both houses is required by the time we adjourn Aug. 31. This final floor vote is often the only time members not assigned to a bill’s specific committees actually see the bill. Since this session is the final year of the current two-year session, any bill that doesn’t pass by adjournment dies.
Even though the partisan makeup in Sacramento is lopsided, with 55 Democrats and 25 Republicans in the Assembly and 27 Democrats and 13 Republicans in the Senate, I remain optimistic that we will be able to work together on many issues. I’m looking forward to a productive new year.
Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.